MILNROW - EXCOMMUNICATIONS
A document in the pages of Milnrow Parish RecordsPersons Excommunicated
This is the page from the Parish Records. At the top the note about accounts in 1719 and below the list of those excommunicated.
Rev F.R. Raines appended a note to his transcription of this document.
Rev Raines's commentsIt appears from this incidental memorandum that the process of Excommunication, or as it was then called, of drawing the Sword of St Peter, continued at Milnrow down to 1719, or even to a later period. In the earlier ages of the church this solemn act of Discipline was so contrived as to cause the greatest possible sensation within the circle where the offenders were known.
The sentence itself was generally pronounced by torch-light - at its conclusion the torches were extinguished, and a Bell tolled. A messenger was then forwarded to all the Clergy in the Parish or Deanery, where it was pronounced. It was repeated in all the Churches and posted on all the Church doors, And all those to whose knowledge it came were forbidden on pain of a similar punishment; to hold any intercourse or communication with the Excommunicant.
This severe sentence was not resorted to until expostulation - remonstrances - formal notice, & other milder expedients had proved ineffectual.
There is no note about why these folks were given this severe punishment, that information has been lost in the mists of time.
I think there is a possibility that the page is from an earlier time than 1719, as the dated entry is written in handwriting which is much more modern in appearance.